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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Private client > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Agriculture and estates clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Hewitsons’ β€˜deeply knowledgeable and responsive’ team provides an β€˜extremely high level of service’. It assists clients with renewable energy projects as well as restructuring, tax planning and a wider range of complex transactions, including purchases and disposals of farmland. β€˜Bright and client-focused’ Gareth Williams is β€˜on top of his game’, β€˜constantly impressing with his technical knowledge and commercial acumen’. He assisted landowners with several negotiations of options for disposal of various development sites across the region, managed seven-figure sales of farms, and negotiated farm business tenancies for estate owners. The group also managed a deed of surrender of a farm business tenancy for an institutional client. James Fowler left the firm to join a family business.

Langleys Solicitors LLP’ β€˜excellent’ group provides β€˜effective solutions’ to clients in a range of property transactions such as sale, purchase, easement and leasing agreements as well as matters arising from renewable energy projects. Managing mineral leases is another area of expertise. Landowners such as Melbourne Holdings, Maurice Mason and Flawborough Farms are clients. Highlights included handling a purchase of stables, advising a client with the seven-figure sale of agricultural land and assisting a farming family business with a transaction involving a surrender of tenancy and purchase of a listed farmhouse. David Wood and FranΓ§oise Vandale are recommended, and Andrew Fearn is now a consultant.

Roythornes Solicitors’ β€˜first-class’ practice houses β€˜very personable and professional industry leaders’, advising on matters ranging from tax and succession planning to land transfers. Julie Robinson heads the department, which also includes Alan Plummer, Vember Mortlock and Peter Cusick. Much of the team’s work includes assisting landowners with commercial property transactions, corporate deals and restructurings. The group handled a freehold farmland purchase involving transfer of over thirty titles, multiple sub-agreements regulating the family-owned business and an agreement with a third-party contractor. It also drafted a share farming agreement between two businesses operating across 15 sites.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s β€˜exceptionally thorough’ team provides β€˜outstanding’ support in matters ranging from complex corporate transactions to high-value ownership transfers of agricultural property including acquisitions of residential developments as well as succession planning. The group also handles farming arrangements and diversification projects in the renewable energy sector. It advised Lincolnshire Farming Company with the mortgage-financed purchase of a farm, including transfer of 43 separate legal titles, and assisted a landowner with granting an option for a lease to a developer tenant in an anaerobic digestion plant project. Other highlights included acting for Hammond Produce during the acquisition of a part of a historic trust estate. Practice head Catherine Harris and Jonty Pearson show β€˜genuine commitment in terms of skills, knowledge and availability’, and Flora Bennett and James Lloyd are also noted.

Arnold Thomson provides β€˜thorough yet concise’ advice on matters including development of farmed property, partnership and promotional agreements, and renewable energy projects. The client base comprises landowners and farmers, and the group assisted a group of clients with transactional and real estate aspects of the construction of the A45 road. It also handled the sale of a family farm, which involved securing reservation of mineral rights in favour of a third party and managing the administration of a complex farming estate. Mike Thomson is β€˜pragmatic, diligent and dedicated’; Matt Hawkins is an β€˜excellent communicator with exemplary attention to detail and extensive knowledge of agricultural property law’; and the β€˜very proficient’ Kate Austin β€˜thinks outside a box’ to β€˜provide practical solutions’.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s team adopts a β€˜straightforward and common-sense’ approach while being β€˜experienced in the field and providing focused advice in a timely manner’. Its clients include public and regulatory bodies. A team led by Richard Barlow acted for the Welsh government in the appeal related to a remediation notice commanding a landowner to revert the land to a semi-natural state. Highlights also included advising a public sector client on the acquisition of agricultural land, assisting a group of landowners with a joint option and promotion agreement, and handling several ownership transfers of agricultural property. William Colacicchi and property specialist Robert Wofinden lead the practice.

Freeths LLP’s β€˜highly competent’ team has β€˜significant sector knowledge and market awareness’, and assists clients with tax, succession, partnership and agricultural property matters. Paul Thompson leads the practice in Nottingham, and the β€˜sensible, pragmatic and thorough’ Mark Keeley specialises in contentious matters. Highlights included managing succession planning and tax strategy of an agricultural estate, advising a family of agricultural landowners on inheritance and succession planning, and representing a farming family in a dispute arising from a planned commercial development.

Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

  1. Charities and not-for-profit
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Charities and not-for-profit clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP’s β€˜highly professional’ team acts for clients such as charitable trusts associated with the public sector, faith charities, education institutions, almshouse charities and Roman Catholic Dioceses. The group also assists companies and organisations with establishing charities in the private sector as well as handling the creation of new charities, restructuring governance arrangements, commercial property transactions and other ongoing operational matters. William Colacicchi advised a company on the property aspects of its conversion to charitable status, assisted a charitable trust with real estate ownership matters and managed charitable aspects of an academy conversion. The group is also handling ongoing governance work for Wyggeston’s Hospital. Solicitor Vicki Hair is another name to note.

Freeths LLP provides β€˜outstanding service that goes above and beyond’ in areas such as governance, commercial agreements, risk management, data protection, fundraising and litigation. β€˜Enormously helpful and knowledgeable’ senior associate Robert Nieri leads the team in Nottingham. Highlights included assisting an unincorporated faith charity with its incorporation as a separate legal entity, guiding a society through a member’s misconduct investigation and advising a local authority on the creation of a charity. The team also advised a charitable trust governed by a corporate trustee on winding-up proceedings and subsequent capital distribution. British Psychological Society, RAFA and Carers Trust East Midlands are clients.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s β€˜outstanding’ team has β€˜excellent’ knowledge and counts the National Space Centre and the Congregational Federation among its clients. The group advises charities on a wide range of matters, including issues related to contentious probate, corporate transactions and commercial property. Recent work saw the team acting for a faith charity during the sale of freehold land and advising a newly formed charity on its obligations under trust and charity law. The team assisted two charitable trusts with their merger, which involved securing merger approval from the Charity Commission, negotiations with the charity’s beneficiaries and a comprehensive review of articles of association and internal policies. James Coningsby heads the practice and Richard Grosberg, who specialises in Court of Protection work, is also recommended.

The team at Geldards LLP provides a β€˜first-class’ service and is a β€˜pleasure to work with’. For example, the β€˜knowledgeable and approachable’ Stephen Marshall is β€˜always willing to take extra time to translate the legal jargon’; he recently assisted Newcastle Christian Life Centre with its transition into Hillsong UK, including due diligence, terms negotiation and property transfers. He is also managing commercial transactions and governance matters for Assemblies of God Incorporated and advising Lincolnshire County Council on its transfer of ownership over Bourne Town Hall. The group also assisted a charity with the creation of a charitable company limited by guarantee to act as a purchaser in a community asset transfer. Cardiff-based Giselle Davies heads the national practice.

Hewitsons’ β€˜professional’ team has β€˜impressive’ levels of knowledge, and acts for charities, education institutions and social enterprises in matters ranging from corporate transactions to grant-making governance rules. Sports charities and associations are also clients. Practice head Chris Knight β€˜understands and grasps the client’s requirements quickly and suggests tailored creative solutions’; he conducted the review of governance strategy for the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, and is managing the commercial, property and governance aspects of the restoration and operation of Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust. The team also advised Sir Thomas White’s Northampton Charity on compliance and authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. Private client specialist Clare Colacicchi is another name to note.

Mark Dunkley’s department at Shakespeare Martineau LLP assists grant-making and government-funded charitable trusts, and specialises in acting for animal charities. Probate specialist Andrew Wilkinson assisted a charitable will beneficiary with the devolution of an estate and associated tax matters. Other highlights included drafting governance strategy for a grant-making charity and supporting an institution with assessing compliance of its actions against the requirements of the Charity Commission.

Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Contentious trusts and probate clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Freeths LLP’s workload includes Inheritance Act claims, trustee removal applications, Court of Protection disputes, farming cases and cross-border matters involving assets based abroad. High-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and farmers are among the firm’s clients. The β€˜patient, persistent and unfailingly courteous’ Mark Keeley is a β€˜top-class practitioner in the field’, who β€˜sees every angle of the dispute’; he is assisting several charities with proceedings involving misconduct allegations against a solicitor with a lasting power of attorney, and managing a deadlocked unadministered estate. Rachel Gaffney is acting for the beneficiary of an estate in a matter involving assets in the UK and abroad.

β€˜Calm but assertive’ practice head Kevin Modiri is a key contact at Nelsons Solicitors Limited. The team specialises in contentious probate, handling claims arising under the Inheritance Act, as well as handling insolvency-related litigation and professional negligence matters. It is defending a sole beneficiary of a will in a claim brought by a family member following a long-term family dispute, and representing a deceased’s spouse in a case pertaining to a large estate. Other highlights included assisting will beneficiaries with removal of the executor and acting for the executor of an estate in a dispute filed by the deceased’s family members.

β€˜Standout regional firm’ Roythornes Solicitors houses an β€˜excellent’ team, which assists farmers, landowners and high-net-worth individuals with a range of contentious matters such as proprietary estoppel claims and Inheritance Act disputes. Handling generational issues in historic trusts, Court of Protection matters, and disputes for vulnerable individuals, trustees and will executors are other areas of specialism. The β€˜committed and practical’ Tim Russ is β€˜level-headed and sensible’ and makes β€˜realistic assessment of his clients’ cases’, and associate Sarah Whitehurst is an β€˜experienced and empathetic solicitor, who always seeks the best results for her clients’.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP counts professionals, farmers, landowners, trustees and charities among its clients, and handles cross-border matters pertaining to multimillion-pound estates. β€˜Genuine specialist’ Andrew Wilkinson β€˜prevents clients from falling into various legal pitfalls’ in cases related to the Inheritance Act, challenges to wills, trusts disputes and Court of Protection work. The group handled contested applications for a statutory will and for the authorisation of substantial gifts as part of a clients’ tax planning strategy, and acted for the executors of an estate regarding the administration of a contested will.

The β€˜well-respected’ team at Gateley Plc has an β€˜enviable reputation and sound judgement’, particularly in complex trust and probate disputes as well as claims involving elements of professional negligence. The group acted for several estate beneficiaries in claims for the removal of a will executor due to misconduct, defended a proprietary estoppel claim and managed a restitution claim for trustees. It also represented a solicitor in a breach of trust claim and handled a dispute arising from a negligently drafted will. Practice head Chris Greenwell and senior associate Claire Herbert are recommended.

Howes Percival LLP’ team is led by Sharon Eyre, who splits her time between Leicester, Northampton and Milton Keynes. The firm acts for will beneficiaries in a range of contentious matters, such as assisting a deceased’s spouse with a contested will, and challenging a will in a case involving family farming business. Other recent work included handling complex probate proceedings pertaining to a contested handwritten will and managing a proprietary estoppel claim related to a challenged estate. Lindsey Atterbury left the firm.

Associate Jak Ward heads Smith Partnership’s practice in Derby, assisting individuals with claims arising under the Inheritance Act and the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act, as well as proving validity of wills, filing for executor removal and defending trustees against breach of trust claims. Recent work included challenging a will’s validity on the basis of a lack of testamentary capacity, coercion and undue influence, and handling a claim for the removal of a deceased’s spouse as the will’s executor filed by the beneficiaries. Simon Richardson is now a consultant.


Index of tables

  1. Family
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Family clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Cartwright King handles issues such as property, business interests and pensions in divorce and relationship breakdown cases, children and childcare disputes, dissolutions of civil partnerships, maintenance matters, and prenuptial agreements. It also represents vulnerable children in neglect, abuse and injury cases. Practice head Chet Desai represented a dual-nationality parent in care proceedings involving allegations of domestic abuse and was instructed by a guardian to act for two minors in a neglect and chastisement claim against the parents. Wayne Hollingsworth is recommended for complex cases involving allegations of neglect and injury, complex family backgrounds and uncertain immigration status; Hugh Young handles multimillion-pound family finance cases, frequently including assets based abroad, multiple companies and dependent children; and Adrian Rose is another name to note.

Freeths LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals in the full spectrum of family matters, including financial arrangements following relationship breakdowns, pension issues, prenuptial agreements and complex children disputes. Team head Judith Speed recently handled divorce proceedings and subsequent distribution of assets, and a financial remedy application. She also appeared in family finance dispute resolution hearings concerning multimillion-pound estates. Also on the family finance side, Diana Copestake has acted for unmarried couples and foreign clients, among others.

β€˜Friendly and approachable’ practice head John Hooper β€˜has built a team of the highest calibre’ at John Hooper & Co. The ’absolutely brilliant’ lawyers are β€˜thoroughly professional, dedicated and committed’, and attract praise for their β€˜superb knowledge’. The firm is renowned for its expertise in family finance cases, acting for divorcing spouses as well as unmarried couples and separating cohabitees. It also assists parents with disputes involving children. Associate Timothy Quincey is also recommended.

Langleys Solicitors LLP’ team is led by John Conlon, who specialises in cases relating to children and predominantly handles public law proceedings. The group also includes matrimonial law expert Emma Lawler, who assists with complex divorce proceedings, cohabitation cases and financial settlements involving international elements, complex trusts and high-net-worth individuals. The firm is currently acting for a spouse in divorce proceedings requiring financial settlement over a large agricultural company. It has also represented children in care proceedings arising from allegations of sexual abuse.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s β€˜consistently reliable’ team is β€˜at the top of its game, getting swiftly to the heart of a case to provide spot-on advice’. Highly complex financial cases are an area of specialism, with clients including high-net-worth individuals such as business owners, professionals and company directors based in the UK and abroad. Family succession advice is another area of focus. Practice head Andrew Breakwell is a β€˜serious heavyweight’, who is β€˜extremely clever, tenacious and loved by clients’; β€˜brilliant’ associate Sonia Bachu is β€˜approachable, diligent and professional’; and associate partner Katherine Marshall β€˜never puts a step wrong’. The firm is advising the husband in the financial remedy case of Chai v Peng, involving a client based abroad and significant assets.

Smith Partnership’s β€˜professional and knowledgeable’ team handles public childcare cases, representing guardians, parents and local authorities in matters including serious neglect and injury, adoption orders, child arrangements and guardianship issues. On the financial side, it handles cases arising from relationship breakdowns and divorce, particularly involving dental and medical practitioners and care home owners. β€˜Effective advocate’ and childcare team head Muctar Johal is β€˜adept at handling the most complex cases involving children’; β€˜skilled and subtle negotiator’ Peter Dadswell β€˜formulates and presents first-class arguments’, while remaining β€˜client-focused’; and Ruth Jones, who leads the wider family law practice, is also recommended.

Turner Nicholson handles matters ranging from divorce proceedings and financial settlements to relocation orders. The group assisted a parent with a Schedule 1 application involving cross-jurisdictional issues, acted for a parent resisting an application for children to move long-distance, and represented a higher-earning spouse in a family finance matter. Highly esteemed Brigid Turner and John Nicholson are recommended. Helen Taylor joined the firm from Freeths LLP.

Lisa Boileau heads Wilkin Chapman LLP’s team in Lincoln and Grimsby-based Mark Carlton is also recommended. The firm has a solid track record in family finance cases and attracts instructions from high-net-worth individuals in the farming sector. Divorce proceedings involving company ownership and trusts are also an area of focus. In other work, the department acted for a grandmother in pursuing a special guardianship owner, and obtained a pension sharing order for a spouse. NFU and MOD personnel are clients.

Flint Bishop LLP’s β€˜highly regarded’ group has β€˜first-class knowledge’ and a β€˜personal touch’. Expertise ranges from complex financial arrangements involving, for example, high-value shareholding interests and foreign nationals with assets in multiple jurisdictions. The firm also handles childcare disputes. Practice head Kirpal Bidmead is an β€˜outstanding individual’, who β€˜inspires confidence’; she is representing a wife of a former MP in a financial case including multiple pension funds and substantial capital assets. The group is also drafting a prenuptial agreement for a client in Hong Kong and managing divorce proceedings for a former professional footballer whose wife and children reside abroad; the case involves assets based in Spain and the UK.

Geldards LLP’s β€˜very capable and efficient’ team acts for medium- to high-net-worth individuals in family finance cases involving businesses, complex ownership structures, inheritance matters, farms, and family-owned or controlled assets. It also assists clients with prenuptial agreements and civil partnership breakdowns, as well as children law matters, where recent work includes handling a Schedule 1 Children Act claim for a parent and managing all aspects of an international relocation of children for a father. Practice head Fiona Apthorpe has a β€˜thoroughly sound knowledge of the subject’, β€˜works hard to achieve good results for clients’ and is β€˜well versed in all aspects of alternative dispute resolution’. Senior associate Claire Dean is also recommended.

Howes Percival LLP’s β€˜first-class’ team is led by the β€˜impeccably thorough’ Justine Flack, who β€˜leaves no stone unturned’. Focused primarily on family finance cases, it acts for high-net-worth individuals, including legal and financial practitioners and entrepreneurs, in relationship breakdown and divorce proceedings, associated financial, pension and childcare arrangements, drafting prenuptial agreements, and handling cohabitation disputes. The firm acted for a spouse in financial proceedings involving assets based abroad, represented a parent in a Children Act dispute concerning contact with the child, and handled financial proceedings for a divorcee who held over Β£6m in business assets. Jane Cowley joined Gateley Plc.

The team at Nelsons Solicitors Limited is praised for its β€˜unwavering professionalism and commitment to clients’ that β€˜set it apart from the competition’. The workload includes high-value financial arrangement cases, proceedings concerning children and cases for high-net-worth individuals with assets in the UK and offshore. The β€˜very thoughtful and efficient’ Kelvin Henderson recently handled a case involving Β£12m in matrimonial assets, and runs both β€˜small- and big-money cases with equal skill and care’. β€˜Fearless yet caring advocate’ Melanie Bridgen is acting for an foreign national in proceedings arising from the unlawful abduction of the child from the Middle East to the UK and is assisting a parent with bringing an alienation claim. Jayne Chilvers heads the department and Victor Collins is also recommended.

Rothera Sharp Solicitors is recommended for both family finance and childcare matters. With regards to the former, practice head Paul Cobb is particularly noted, assisting clients with sizable assets in the UK and offshore, pension issues and relevant tax arrangements. Ann-Marie Bowman specialises in public childcare cases and receives instructions from guardians, family members and foster carers regarding a range of adoption and care proceedings. Recent work includes handling cross-jurisdictional financial arrangements for a spouse of a director of a multinational company, representing family members in care proceedings following negative assessments by local authorities and social services, and acting for children in injury claims.

Spearing Waite LLP’s practice head Swati Somaiya is β€˜very knowledgeable and quick to grasp the key issues in a case’; she acts for high-net-worth individuals in complex financial cases involving substantial on and offshore assets, third party loans, pension funds and trusts, as well as advising on prenuptial agreements and cohabitation issues. Disputes concerning children and arising from domestic violence are another area of expertise. The group recently assisted a spouse in financial arrangement proceedings concerning a high-value mixed portfolio of residential and commercial properties, and represented a child in a Children Act case involving allegations of domestic abuse.

Banner Jones Solicitors’ team provides an β€˜expert service’, and is led by β€˜focused and articulate advocates’ Toby Netting and Helena Downing. It assists clients with private and public law work, including divorce proceedings, prenuptial agreements, cohabitation matters and children-related cases. Although regional clients form a substantial proportion of the group’s client base, it also advises foreign nationals on cases with an international element. Recent work includes a complex childcare case involving issues of domestic violence, assisting a client with divorce proceedings on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, and managing care proceedings issued by a local authority and arising from a child’s non-accidental injury.

Clients in the farming industry form a large proportion of the roster at Roythornes Solicitors, where lawyers handle a range of matrimonial disputes and relationship breakdown issues, which frequently involve negotiating arrangements for business and property assets. The team recently represented a spouse in Children Act proceedings and handled the divorce of a married couple who traded together as a limited company. Nick Ingrey is the name to note.

Sills & Betteridge LLP’s team β€˜fights fiercely for its clients and strives for a good result’. Chrystel Theofanous specialises in domestic abuse cases, while the β€˜exceptional’ Helen Derry is a β€˜no-nonsense professional’, who β€˜exudes confidence’ in private family finance matters. The β€˜very thorough and pragmatic’ Mo Hayes handles public law care proceedings. The group represented a respondent husband in divorce proceedings involving business assets and successfully ring-fenced endowment policies. John Mitchell heads the practice.

The team at Wilson Browne Solicitors is praised for its β€˜exemplary service’. Practice head Sally Robinson has a β€˜calming influence’ and provides β€˜robust advice in a sensitive manner’ in private children and finance cases; Deena Tate, who leads the childcare team, has β€˜encyclopaedic knowledge of cases filed by guardians’; and the β€˜phenomenal’ Helen York’s β€˜consistent and sound advice is absolutely on the mark’. Edward Rawlins and Helen York are also noted. Highlights included acting for a respondent in divorce proceedings involving wealth accrued through various inheritances, assisting a mother with the application for a non-molestation order and handling a financial case concerning a discretionary trust.

Boutique firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors assists UK residents and foreign nationals with a range of matters, such as jurisdictional challenges to divorce proceedings, child arrangement orders and financial remedy applications. It also handles complex financial cases involving business and property assets, and manages child contact disputes. Michelle Brammer is β€˜exceptionally good with clients, very capable strategically’ and β€˜gets results without inducing unnecessary acrimony’. Kate Brooks is a β€˜very solid litigator when the case gets tough’.

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal tax, trusts and probate clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP’s β€˜very strong and experienced team’ provides β€˜sage and pragmatic’ advice regarding large on and offshore estates to business owners, landowners and private clients based in the UK and abroad. β€˜Excellent’ practice head William Colacicchi combines his β€˜understanding of family relationships’ with β€˜vast experience and a calm and professional bedside manner’. The β€˜knowledgeable’ Wenna Thompson β€˜looks after her clients well’, and Lucy Worwood is also recommended. The group advises trustees on tax mitigation strategies, handles succession planning involving assets based abroad and assists with amendments to trusts. Family trusts form a large proportion of the client base, and acting for will executors and beneficiaries is another area of specialism.

The group at Freeths LLP handles tax planning, trust administration, probate issues and Court of Protection matters, with an increasing focus on highly technical trusts and estate planning work. Clients include prominent families in the region and trustees of family trusts. β€˜Very technically able and sensible’ practice head Paul Thompson gives β€˜pragmatic advice’.

Geldards LLP’s β€˜exceptional’ team provides β€˜the highest level of care and attention to detail’ to deliver β€˜superb’ service. β€˜Astounding lawyer’ and practice head Erica Thomson combines β€˜professionalism, common sense and empathy’, and the β€˜considered and methodical’ Jaclyn Barnes has β€˜good technical insight’. Niche areas of expertise include assisting entrepreneurs with wealth management for charitable objectives or family benefit, and managing estates involving cross-jurisdictional issues and complex tax structures. The firm advised the directors and majority shareholders of a family company on succession planning and related tax matters; assisted a business owner with the transfer of offshore family trusts to the UK; and is acting for the executors of a large estate on its administration and the tax implications.

Hewitsons handles a range of matters such as inheritance and capital gains tax planning, trust administration and reorganisation, and management of complex estates with assets including heritage and offshore property. Highlights included pursuing agricultural property relief on a substantial gift, obtaining a variation of family settlements involving historic, agricultural and residential properties, and advising a trustee on a beneficiary’s rights. Clare Colacicchi assists farming clients with tax and trust issues, advises trustees on their powers and duties, particularly in family settlements, and specialises in strategic capital tax planning; Catherine Ball supports agricultural clients and business owners with succession planning, efficient tax strategies and diversification into the renewable energy sector; and β€˜impressive and intelligent’ senior solicitor Antonia Cooper is also recommended.

β€˜Prompt responses and excellent service levels’ combined with a balance of β€˜professionalism and sensitivity’ make Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s practice stand out. It advises high-net-worth individuals on all aspects of tax and estate planning, including business and agricultural property reliefs. Other highlights included managing the administration of a will trust to establish a lasting legacy for local animal charities and obtaining a conditional exemption from inheritance tax for a client’s acquisition of a Β£1.25m painting, currently displayed by the Derby Museums Trust. Richard Grosberg specialises in Court of Protection work, and the β€˜knowledgeable, efficient and communicative’ Catherine McCannah is also recommended. Andrew Birchall left the firm.

Roythornes Solicitors’ team handles high-value estate administration, comprehensive tax strategy, and will drafting and succession planning for business and farming clients. It also assists elderly and vulnerable clients with matters of legal capacity. The group managed the administration of a farming estate following the owner’s death, which involved early surrender of tenancy with a national farming company, resolution of dilapidation claims and property distribution. In other work, practice head Elizabeth Young is assisting the executors of an estate with obtaining affidavit evidence and deeds of variation; Sarah Banner led on the investigation and administration of an intestate estate. Jarred Wright is another name to note.

The team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP predominantly acts for high-net-worth individuals and trusts as it handles matters ranging from wealth management and strategic tax planning to high-value deputyships and trust administrations. Practice head Mark Dunkley is advising a prominent family on inheritance tax planning pertaining to the acquisition of an agricultural estate. The firm also recently acted for the executors of an intestate estate. β€˜Calm, knowledgeable and straightforward’ solicitor Sarah Brack β€˜finds the best solutions’, and Stephen Woolfe is also recommended.

Actons acts for individuals, business owners and farmers in matters concerning wills, trusts and probate as well as handling Court of Protection work. Practice head Mandy Kelly is advising the executors of a multimillion-pound estate on the beneficiaries’ rights, deeds of variation to relieve the inheritance tax liability and a wider capital gains tax planning strategy. The team also assisted with filing for a deputyship order and conducted a comprehensive revision of wills and tax planning for high-net-worth clients.

Flint Bishop LLP handles wills, probate and trusts matters, as well as assisting clients with Court of Protection and vulnerable client work. It also handles strategic tax planning and probate matters for foreign clients in the UK and UK nationals holding assets abroad. The β€˜knowledgeable’ Claire Rudkin β€˜thinks quickly on her feet’; she recently assisted the executors of an estate containing overseas assets with tax clearance and estate administration.

The team at Langleys Solicitors LLP provides β€˜excellent and appropriate advice’, particularly on inheritance tax planning regarding farming and landed estates and in Court of Protection work. β€˜Deeply knowledgeable’ practice head David Wood handles strategic tax and succession planning for high-net-worth individuals, and Amanda Voakes specialises in advising elderly clients and handles matters arising from incapacity. Recent work includes handling a contested statutory will application, administering an intestate estate and handling a deputyship matter involving a high-value estate. Chairman Andrew Fearn is also recommended.

Rothera Sharp Solicitors is particularly well regarded for trusts work. Led by Jayne Smith, the team also handles the administration of high-value estates and advises clients on tax efficient structures, as well as Court of Protection issues and work with vulnerable and elderly clients. Karen Hayward was recently instructed to handle matters related to a Β£1.1m estate, which included deed of variation for the benefit of a charity. The team also advised on business and agricultural property reliefs, the inheritance tax aspects of a Β£4m estate, and obtaining a succession order in Dubai as part of an intestate estate case. Jeremy Allen and associate Petra Lewis-Feast are other names to note, as is Christina Yardley, who recently joined from Actons.

Fraser Brown’s β€˜extremely professional and understanding’ team provides β€˜second-to-none’ service. Expertise includes will drafting, inheritance tax mitigation, administration of estates, succession planning and trust-related work. The β€˜outstanding’ Laura Mackin is β€˜extremely thorough’ and a β€˜true credit to the profession’. Edward Cursham is another name to note.

Howes Percival LLP’s team assists high-net-worth individuals and small- to medium-sized business owners on matters such as succession planning, lifetime trusts, tax strategies and compliance, estate administrations and Court of Protection work. The group recently assisted the executors of a high-value estate comprising real estate, farming land, liquid assets and bonds with probate application. It also obtained a deputyship order for an individual without legal capacity, and handled succession planning for two business owners. New practice head Sharon Eyre splits her time between Leicester and Milton Keynes. Jane Cowley and Lindsey Atterbury left the firm.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s practice focuses on comprehensive estate planning matters, including asset management, tax mitigation strategies, family succession and deputyship. Families in the agricultural sector, business owners, lottery winners and vulnerable individuals constitute a large proportion of the department’s clients. β€˜Efficient, effective and knowledgeable’ practice head Lisa-Jane Howes is handling the management of a multi-jurisdictional landed estate between several beneficiaries. Sharon Plumtree, praised for her β€˜honest and straightforward approach’, is managing a complex farming estate, including mixed assets, insurance policies held in trust and property subject to an option agreement.

Wilson Browne Solicitors has a solid track record managing trusts and large estates as well as advising on matters arising from Court of Protection and deputyship issues. Practice co-head Vicki Pearce is acting as a deputy for a patient suffering from severe dementia and assisted a client with the tax and general management aspects of an intestate estate. Other recent work includes an estate administration and handling the application for a health and welfare deputyship order for the parents of a mentally incapacitated adult. Rachel Hawkins joined Hewitsons.

The β€˜experienced, competent and timely’ group at Spearing Waite LLP assists high-net-worth individuals with lifetime inheritance tax strategy, handles succession planning for family businesses, and acts for individuals lacking capacity in Court of Protection matters. Drafting wills involving disinheritance and administering estates with assets based abroad are both growing areas of specialism for the team. Recent work included administering the intestate and multi-jurisdictional estate of a foreign high-net-worth client, and handling succession planning over several generations pertaining to the ownership of a family company. Associates Marie Cooper and Alexandra Howard lead the practice.

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